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The Value of Challenges: 1 - Reconciling Individual & Collective Challenges

Not every obstacle means the end of the road. In fact, more often than not, an obstacle is just something that you need to tackle before proceeding any further in the journey you are on. Not a reason to turn around and walk away, neither an encounter to dread but simply something the sole existence of which is for it to be tackled (perhaps not in the physical sense.)

The value of challenges

Challenges force you to break free of the knots you may be caught up in

 A challenge could be an obstacle by another name. A challenge also exists so that it could be overcome. Now, compared to obstacles as we understand them in the conventional sense, the beauty of a challenge is that tackling it not only helps you proceed on your path but it also has the potential to elevate the quality of the journey.

This makes a challenge an often-desirable attribute that helps inspire people to progress in life.

This is true in an organizational context as well.

Meaningful challenges for organization’s growth

The paradox is that setting up meaningful challenges for change agents itself comes with a challenge: How to devise a challenge in such a way that it is neither mundane enough for the change agent to feel it as less than a challenge nor hard enough to make them turn away from it. This sweet spot is harder to achieve than one may imagine.

The problem is that every change agent in an organization comes with his or her own set of skills and talents. And a challenge would ring as meaningful for them only if it pertains to their individual skills and talents. This means that designing a single challenge that would satisfy every change agent equally is impossible.

On the other hand, there is also the fact that it’s not practical within an organization for every change agent to follow a distinct challenge. In fact, such an organization may well be called ‘disorganization’.

Or should it be?

Is there a way we can find a common ground between individual passion or skills, and the need for every team member to pursue a common goal?

First of all, we need to understand what the individual aspirations etc. are before they can be reconciled with the need for a common goal. But for both, the idea of Compelling Shared Vision is relevant.

Compelling Shared Vision

Compelling Shared Vision is the shared goal which a team move towards. As opposed to a target which is imposed from the outside, Compelling Shared Vision is discovered from among the team members themselves. This makes it a great stimulant for the change agents to work towards a greater goal. For its only human to want to realize something that’s rooted in your own self.

This phenomenon is most easily observable in communities striving towards a common end when the objective in question is rooted in their own culture.

Temenos Vision Lab or TVL is a unique session developed by Temenos+Agility which helps teams discover their Compelling Shared Vision.

Temenos Vision Lab

In the course of this discovery, each change agent is encouraged to share their aspirations, the challenges they have overcome in the past and the way they overcame them with others in the team. This gives an unparalleled view into the psyche of the individual, which would enable you to help design better challenges tailored for them.

Then, there is the aspect of the Compelling Shared Vision itself. As mentioned before, this vision is far greater an aspiration for a team than even the best targets given to them by a manager or a leader. Equally important is the fact that it is a rather unique vision born from the traits shared by the team members.

Now, all the leader has to do is ensure that the challenges that he set for each member (pertaining to that person’s skills and talents) are relevant to the overall goal- or the Compelling Shared Vision- that the team is pursuing.

Temenos Vision Lab incorporates the use of proprietary tools in helping change agents discover their vision. Developed based on 25 years of business consultancy experience, TVL is conducted by some of the best transformation coaches in business.


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